Simple and easy chicken curry

Simple and Easy Chicken Curry: A Flavorful Delight in Every Bite

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Step into the world of aromatic spices and rich flavors with our Simple and Easy Chicken Curry recipe. Perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends, this dish brings together tender chicken pieces marinated in yogurt and a blend of traditional Indian spices, cooked to perfection in a savory curry sauce. Whether you’re a curry connoisseur or new to Indian cuisine, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. So, let’s embark on a culinary journey and create a delicious meal that will tantalize your taste buds.

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For the Marinade:

  • 1.5 pounds (about 700g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (or 1-inch ginger and 4-5 garlic cloves minced)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Curry:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

For the Optional Rice:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Marinate the Chicken: In a large bowl, combine the chicken pieces with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, cumin, coriander, red chili powder, and salt. Mix well to ensure the chicken is evenly coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight for maximum flavor.
  2. Cook the Rice (Optional): Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rinsed rice and salt, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork and set aside.
  3. Prepare the Curry: In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown and caramelized, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add the Spices: Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook until they soften and break down, about 5 minutes. Add ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, and salt to taste. Cook the spices for 2-3 minutes, allowing them to release their flavors.
  5. Cook the Chicken: Add the marinated chicken pieces to the skillet, along with any remaining marinade. Stir well to combine with the onion-tomato mixture. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  6. Simmer the Curry: Pour in 1 cup of water to create a sauce consistency and bring the curry to a gentle simmer. Cover the skillet and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken.
  7. Garnish and Serve: Once the curry is cooked to perfection, garnish with freshly chopped cilantro. Serve hot with steamed rice or your favorite bread for a complete meal.

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Make It Creamy: For a creamier texture, add a splash of heavy cream or coconut milk to the curry just before serving.
  • Vegetarian Option: Substitute the chicken with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or tofu for a vegetarian version of this dish.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the amount of red chili powder according to your preference for spice. You can also add chopped green chilies for extra heat.
  • Extra Flavor: Experiment with additional spices such as fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) or curry leaves for added depth of flavor.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

  • Keto Version: Replace the basmati rice with cauliflower rice or enjoy the chicken curry on its own for a keto-friendly meal. Ensure the yogurt used in the marinade is low in carbs or use Greek yogurt for a higher protein content.
  • Low-Carb Version: Similar to the keto version, opt for cauliflower rice or enjoy the curry with a side of mixed greens for a low-carb option. Minimize the use of onions and tomatoes to reduce the carb content of the dish.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I use chicken breast instead of thighs? Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of thighs if you prefer. Keep in mind that chicken breast tends to cook faster, so adjust the cooking time accordingly to prevent it from drying out.
  2. Can I skip the marination step if I’m short on time? While marinating the chicken enhances the flavor and tenderness, you can still proceed with cooking the curry without marination if you’re short on time. However, for the best results, marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Can I freeze the leftovers? Yes, you can freeze any leftover chicken curry for future meals. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container or freezer-safe bags. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  4. What can I serve with chicken curry besides rice? Chicken curry pairs well with various sides such as naan bread, roti, chapati, or even mashed potatoes for a fusion twist. You can also serve it with quinoa or couscous for a healthier alternative.
  5. How long will the chicken curry last in the refrigerator? Properly stored in an airtight container, chicken curry can last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Ensure it is reheated to piping hot temperature before serving.

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Simple and Easy Chicken Curry is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Indian cuisine, offering a delightful medley of flavors and spices that will transport your taste buds to another realm. With its tender chicken pieces marinated in yogurt and a harmonious blend of aromatic spices, this dish is a true crowd-pleaser that never fails to impress. Whether you’re cooking for yourself, your family, or entertaining guests, this recipe is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings for a comforting and flavorful meal. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a culinary adventure that promises to tantalize your senses and leave you craving for more.

Indulge in the warmth and comfort of a hearty chicken curry, and savor each bite as you immerse yourself in the delightful flavors of this classic dish. From the tender chicken to the aromatic spices, every element of this recipe is crafted to perfection, ensuring a memorable dining experience that you’ll cherish time and time again.

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